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  • Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 9, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas 1JU j-Zeitung SPORTS FAMILY AFFAIR Sisters Sarah and Kayla Redwine have different styles of play but both are contributors to success of CHS girls soccer. Page SA me FORUM DESPERATION? Former U.S. senator and congressman Bob Kreuger said vicious last-minute political attacks are acts of desperation. Page AA irfth Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 153, No. 102 10 pages, 1 section CLICK 500 WWW _ ■■■Hi 56825 00001 rs Mostly sunny High Low 80 45 Details 6A DEAR ABBY 8A CLASSIFIEDS 9A COMICS 7A CROSSWORD 7A FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5A TV GRIDS 8A Voters head to polls; 5 county races contested By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Primary election voters in Comal County head to the polls today to pick their I party’s nominees for offices. County Clerk Joy Streater said Monday j her office is ready to conduct the elec-    I    AT ' hon.    j M Voting takes place “It culminates a good six months of pre-    I    from 7 am id 7 liminary planning, notifications, working    pm today. with parties, preparing ballots, new equip- Know where to vote7 ment, making sure results can be ready as    & unsure, call quickly as possible and making sure vot-    6205520 to speak °    j    with the voter See ELECTION, Page 3A    registrar By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The New Braunfels Police Department has been rocked again by an internal investigation this one involving an officer, his wife and an alleged attempt to have someone murdered for money. New Braunfels police made two arrests late Saturday and early Sunday in what Chief of Police Russell johnson said was a conspiracy to commit a murder for hire. Samantha Kaderli Childs, 23, of New Braunfels and Jonathon Gene Benavides, 29, of the I iouston area were arrested and booked into Comal County Jail on charges of conspiracy to commit murder. The charge is a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in state prison. Bail on each is $200,000. Childs is the wife of New Braunfels police officer Jeffrey Childs. Benavides is described as a long-time friend of the officer who went to school with him in the I Iouston area. Jeffrey Childs, 31, has been placed on paid administrative leave while police continue to investigate the case against his wife. Also placed on leave was a female NBPD dispatcher Johnson did not identify. The dispatcher was cleared of any complicity Sunday afternoon and returned to full duty. Johnson said no information had been uncovered that connected the police officer to the crime. “If we had evidence that officer Childs was involved, he’d be in jail with his wife," johnson said. “We arrest people See POLICE PROBE. Page 2 A Property tax relief would cost $3.5M By Scott Mahon Staff Writer A proposal to change the city’s tax and fiscal year would give taxpayers a six-month reprieve from property taxes, but would cost the city $3.5 million. The city would use reserve funds to make up the loss. Hie reserve fund was $ 11,774,916 at the end of July 2003. The city’s fiscal year begins July I and ends June 30. Most cities in the state begin their fiscal year Oct. I, and property taxes are due at the end of January. The city contracts with the New Braunfels Independent School District to prepare its property tax statements, which are mailed out separately in May and June. City property taxes are due at the end of July. Under the proposal, the city would contract with the Comal County lax Assessor/-Collector to prepare its tax statements and the statements would become part of the county’s tax statements. The county mails its tax statements in October, faxes are considered delinquent after Jan. 31, said County fax Assessor/Collector Sherman Krause. NBISD property tax statements are mailed beginning in October and are due Jan. 31, Qty Manager Chuck Pinto said. But Pinto said NBISD also is considering changing its fiscal year. “The school district would have to look at its reserves too and see if it could afford to change," he said. “And there are still a lot of questions we don’t have answers to.” Pinto said the easiest way to change the city's tax and fiscal year is to not bill ta> See TAX RELIEF Page 2A Tour of Faith The Herald-Zeitung’s weekly series on churches in New Braunfels and Comal County offers readers an interesting insight into how religion’s roots dig deep into culture.City council throws parking ordinance back to steering committee By Scott Mahon Staff Writer New Braunfels City Council sent the parking ordinance to a steering committee Monday night for further study. Representatives of several groups appeared ready to argue the pros and cons of the ordinance and several council members asked for public input on the issue. But Mayor Adam Cxjrk said the issue had been discussed at a previous hearing. "Traditionally, we don’t have public input after a public hearing has already been held," Cork said. “It would be unfair. As mayor, that’s my decision, but the council can vote to overrule me if they want.” The city's current pat king ordinance allows off-site parking 200 feet from a business location. Cork said the existing ordinance is too ambiguous. "Does that mean to the driveway or to a parking space?” the mayor asked during the first reading. In an attempt to clarify the ordinance, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended off site parking be allowed 400 feet from a business. During the first reading of the revised ordinance, some council members suggested 800 feet. “I don’t want to see it (the revised ordinance) get lost, and Id like to see public input,” said District I Councilwoman Soma MuAoz-Ciill. “We’ve changed some things tonight, and people are here to talk about it," District 2 Councilman I -arty Alexander said. But council failed to overrule Cork’s recommendation that no public input be allowed. Cork offered two amendments to the revised ordinance. “I’d like to amend it to read from the first parking space within 400 feet of the edge of a business,’ Cork said. “I also want to remove the part that pertains to residential off-site parking because there is a conflict with another ordinance that allows off-site parking in residential areas 1,000 feel from a business.’’ Cork then recommended the zoning ordinance, including off-site parking, be referred to the Development Code Steering Committee. District 3 Councilwoman Gale Pospisil urged council not to refer the ordinance to the committee. “I think we should move forward,” she said. The Development Code Steering committee will take up the matter at 6:30 pan. March 23. FRONTand Center Murder for hire? Alleged conspiracy touches ranks of NBPD Jonathon Gene Benavides, 29,    Samantha Kaderli Childs. 23, of of the Houston area, allegedly    New Braunfels is the wife of police sought to have a 30-year-old Mr** j£jS    M    officer Jeffrey Childs. She and Childs Tomball woman killed. Motive    MyJ*    J^isX    have know each other for about two in the case was a child-support    ,.JH    years and have been married for issue. Benavides was a lifelong    SLiQSaJH    about a month. She and Benavides friend of Nev • Braunfels police    were dunged with conspiracy to officer Jeffrey Childs.    commit murder, a first-degree felony. DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels Police Lt. John Villarreal, left, and Police Chief Russell Johnson address the media during a press conference Sunday afternoon announcing the arrest of Samantha Kaderli Childs of New Braunfels and Jonathon Gene Benavides of the Houston area on charges of conspiracy to commit murder. Policeman placed on paid leave while officials investigate case against wife 2004 ;